By RODNEY HO/ firstname.lastname@example.org, originally filed Monday, June 1, 2015
I screened the first two episodes of season 3 of USA's Atlanta reality show "Chrisley Knows Best" and it remains the best imitation of "The Brady Bunch" since "The Brady Bunch."
The show averaged 2.32 million viewers season two, up 37 percent from season one. So clearly, it has fans.
Here are some teasers of what to expect based on the first two episodes available to TV writers. And since this is not "Game of Thrones" or "Mad Men," I don't consider these spoilers per se. Any "plot twists" will not involve a surprising death of a chracter or anything truly twisted. The stakes are no greater than losing a game of Jenga. And nothing has changed. The plot lines are straight out of the musty sitcom playbook and Todd's aphorisms typically save the day.
Watch for 18 episodes this season, by far the most to date, with 12 airing this summer. And a trip to London is included.
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Who's in, who's out: The cast is unchanged from season two. Todd's 24-year-old oldest daughter Lindsie pops by on occasion in a recurring role. His troubled 23-year-old son Kyle? Still absent. Kyle, beset in the past with drug problems and a possible bi-polar condition his father has mentioned, hasn't appeared since season one and has badmouthed his father in the press. Kyle's toddler daughter is now in the custody of Todd and Julie and she appears on the show. Todd's mom Faye remains a recurring character while his three other kids - Grayson, Chase and Savannah are still regulars along with his loving wife Julie.
Todd Chrisley keeps up the hapless control freak image. When the family is going to be featured in a magazine, Todd declares: I'm going to micromanage this interview."
"Shocker," cracks his teen-age son Chase. When Todd offers a script for his brethren to follow during the interview, Chase says, "I'm more of an improv guy."
Todd has crafted a certain beleaguered but loving dad image for TV. His financial issues, for instance, are never mentioned - nor is there any reference to any particular job Todd may or may not be holding. (At least that pesky $46 million personal bankruptcy case is almost out of the way, according to Radaronline. Chrisley agreed to pay $150,000 in exchange for dropping claims against him and his wife of 18 years and a former business partner, Mark Braddock.)
Todd's take about the press: "Sometimes you have to lie. There are certain times you have to say company's coming, put on your best, speak less and smile more."
Cat-and-mouse games continue - with two dated references!: Savannah pretends to go to the movies but the parents know she's doing something else. But what? Lindsie shows up without advance notice to "pick up a pair of Savannah's shoes," Savannah's plans get suspiciously canceled soon after Lindsie's arrival. What is going on? 46-year-old Todd says: "When Laverne and Shirley show up, something's up. And I'll find out."
Later, he adds, "As Scarlett O'Hara said, 'Tomorrow is another day.' "
Todd's trendier reference of the day: He actually utters "Bye Felicia!" at one point.
What? Todd isn't into baseball? Todd loves fashion and fastidiousness. But in the second episode, Grayson's baseball team needs temporary help so Todd volunteers to coach. When he tries to swing a bat, the pitcher says, "Don't twirl around." Twirling? Todd? No!!! Not surprisingly, Todd is a horrible coach. So he outsources to a pro player.
Julie gets a story line! The show revolves around Todd but Julie's catering ambitions come into play in episode two. She cooks up a storm for an event but (doh!) Chase and his buddies eat her food. So she has to cook again and is all panic at a Costco.
"Chrisley Knows Best," 9 p.m. Tuesdays, starting June 2, USA Network